How much carbohydrate should I take during exercise?

Friday 06 November 2020

How much carbohydrate should I take during exercise?

With a full fuel tank, you can handle an exertion of about 90 minutes. During prolonged exertion, carbohydrate supplementation is necessary to provide muscles with sufficient carbohydrates and to avoid decreasing the intensity of exercise. Taking carbohydrates also ensures that concentration and mental alertness remain optimal. How much carbohydrate you should take during exercise depends on the duration and intensity of the exercise.

As you can see from the image below, for low-intensity efforts, the amounts of carbohydrates should be adjusted downwards. On the other hand, carbohydrate requirements increase the longer the effort. For efforts of more than 2h, the composition of carbohydrates ingested also becomes important. When only one type of carbohydrate is used, the body will absorb a maximum of 60gr of KH per hour. When two types of carbohydrate are used, namely glucose/fructose or maltodextrins/fructose in a 2:1 ratio, the body will absorb up to 90gr of KH per hour. All Etixx gels, bars, gummies and isotonic drinks contain this 2:1 ratio. This has the added advantage of faster stomach emptying and therefore less stomach discomfort during exercise.

Intake of such large amounts of carbohydrates should definitely be practised during training, though. After all, too much carbohydrate can cause gastrointestinal problems in some cases. The good news is that these intakes are 'trainable': if you practise taking carbohydrates during exercise, the body will get used to them.

Sources of carbohydrate intake during exercise can be liquid (Isotonic), semi-liquid (gels) or solid (bars or gummies). Everyone can best put together, from experience, the ideal selection for him/her. For long-duration efforts, it is best to combine liquid and solid foods. However, it is important to take the absorption speed into account. The more liquid, the faster the absorption and the faster we can use the carbohydrates as energy during exercise. The Etixx Isotonic (liquid) also has the added advantage of replenishing lost minerals and fluids.

Below is an overview of the quantity of carbohydrates in the various Etixx products so that you can use them in a very practical way during your next workout:

Energy Sport Bar -> 30g KH
Energy Nougat Sport Bar -> 30g KH
Natural Oat Bar -> 33g KH

Isotonic Energy Gels -> 24g KH
Nutritional Energy Gel -> 24g KH
Ginseng & Guarana Energy Gel -> 30g KH

Isotonic -> 30g KH per 500ml
Carbo-Gy -> 66g KH per 500ml